The City of Chicago's online zoning map shows zoning designations for properties along West 35th Street.

12th Ward Alder Announces 35th Street Rezoning

Published January 28, 2023

Rezoning and streetscaping five blocks of Chicago's West 35th Street is on the docket of 12th Ward Alderwoman Anabel Abarca, who announced that work has started on this program to inspire McKinley Park neighborhood economic development.

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“The revitalization of 35th Street is paramount to the prosperity of the 12th Ward," Abarca said. "Countless residents and businesses ... have voiced the need for action to be taken in order to help attract businesses to 35th Street."

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Abarca proposes rezoning and streetscaping both sides of 35th Street between South Paulina Avenue and South Archer Avenue. The north side of 35th Street between Paulina and South Damen avenues now lies within the 11th Ward after boundaries changed due to redistricting, and Abarca said she has reached out to 11th Ward Alderwoman Nicole Lee about the rezoning project.

Vacancies and Blight

"We are in productive talks on how best to ensure 35th Street is rezoned so that both wards benefit," Abarca said. "Such revitalization is best done in conjunction with other elected officials."

McKinley Park's West 35th Street has long suffered from vacant commercial spaces and blight from abandoned properties following the 2004 down-zoning of the street by then-11th Ward Alderman James Balcer.

McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan

Most of the storefronts on West 35th Street between Paulina and Archer are currently zoned for residential use: single-family homes and two-flats. More than a dozen properties zoned for neighborhood shopping district uses are irregularly spaced on the street, and a single commercially zoned property right now houses a design and fabrication studio. The large flatiron building at West 35th Street and South Archer Avenue anchoring the west end of this stretch is already under active redevelopment.

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Revitalization of West 35th Street was one of the key recommendations of the McKinley Park Neighborhood Plan, issued in 2021 by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP). As one of its main goals of reviving the neighborhood's commercial corridors, the plan called for creating a "main street" experience on 35th Street.

Main Street for Neighborhood

"This corridor remains central to the community’s identity, and there is a strong desire from residents to revive a portion of the corridor as a main street district," the plan stated.

Abarca said she's already been talking to Chicago's Department of Transportation and the Department of Planning and Development to rezone 35th Street "before the end of the year."

Abarca did not specify which zoning designations will be sought for which areas, however, she noted that opportunities for community input will be announced soon.

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